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Join Paul and me as we unpack the Chinese Grand Prix. We cover every single team as they finished and share our thoughts on the weekend including our discussion of the tire situation in Formula One, the red Bull situation, the Caterham situation, the situation and more situations.

We hand out awards like it was someone’s birthday and even offer our podium picks for the Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend. You can’t ask for more insightful fun than this for the price you pay.  Well you can but then you’d be a real hater and that really isn’t your style now is it?

This may be Mark’s issue. I think he should keep this tune in his head and chin up… Bahrain is coming up and he can win dang it!

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • mini696

    Cant wait to listen.

    • We can’t wait for you to listen, mate. Thanks for always taking to time for us. :)

  • JakobusVdL

    Move over Hamilton, Webbo’s in da house!

  • toogood2tell

    Alonso-vs-Massa ~

    Fundamental difference is the car behaviour on aero as well as tyre management front, when it’s running in the clean air versus when its runs in traffic? Another case in point is instances when Red Bulls running in traffic didn’t look supreme both in 2012 and this season. Any wonder why Newey works hard to resolve aero issues, to make the car capable of qualifying on front row.

    Ferrari should have stacked both cars on their first pit stop, leaving Massa out for that extra lap threw him in traffic, and the race was ruined from that point on. Given the tyre situation, then it becomes difficult to try under cut cars around you, since you don’t know what cars you are actually racing, till the last round of pit stops.

    Ferrari had chance of double podium, but yet again they threw away that chance just like they did in Silverstone’11.

    Stacking the two cars would have ensured both Ferrari would have been closer after the first round of pit stop.

    Time and time again, Ferrari shows that they are not capable of running a two-car team, ironically its their camp that keeps pushing for the three-car idea.

  • MIE

    With respect to your last paragraph, are you referring to Mr Hallam?

  • James5353

    Pet Rock? Didn’t Bernie have an idea like that once? It was a ‘Jump to Conclusions’ mat. It would be this mat that you would put on the floor…

  • Schmorbraten

    Agreed on the tires. F1 did indeed conduct a survey about what improvements the fans would like to see a few years back, and I also took part. I voted for more overtaking, but the outcome wasn’t what I intended. I’m not specifically interested in passing per se, or lots of passing, and I don’t think that all passes have to be really great, hard-work, genius, impossible, masterful passes or whatever, but I was just annoyed watching quicker cars being stuck like glue behind cars that were a lot slower for virtually the whole race! If everyone is stuck in position, you could just as well end the race after 5 laps. That was an idiotic situation and I still credit them for taking in feedback from us, even if it was only once, but the execution (DRS, KERS, ERS, tires) is just hapless.

  • Christy

    You guys really reflected my emotions regarding how this sport has changed. It’s a real pity. China was not a fun race to watch – I won’t stop watching, but it pains me. I want to see what kind of speed these guys have.

  • Schmorbraten

    5 out of 24 drivers are WDCs. First 5 positions in the race in China: those 5 WDCs. A game of chance? Roulette?

    • cconf1

      And they *almost* had it in perfect chronological order

      1. Alonso 05/06
      2. Raikkonen 07
      3. Hamilton 08
      4. Vettel 10/11/12
      5. Button 09

      So close!

      • UAN

        I bet Vettel purposely passed Button just so it would be in order! lol

    • the drivers seat

      I get your point, but the 5 World Champs are in the 5 best teams, who’s engineering depth is making the tyre work and last the best, but its undeniable the drivers are not pushing themselves as hard as they could do, and are not therefore enjoying this mode of F1, which is what the podium conversation was about

      • UAN

        I can imagine Alonso saying to Kimi “this victory seems hollow. I wasn’t able to push to my maximum. I must always push to may maximum, 120%.” and Kimi said “I don’t know I’m drinking my champagne” :)

  • Rapierman

    1. Hope y’all got your tax returns filed and got yourselves paid in full.

    2. I sure as hell didn’t expect drivers to sit on their butts twiddlin’ their thumbs all day. :-P

    3. We’ve gone past the bridge, onto the Interstate, past the state lines and gone to Mexico-too-far.

    4. Racing is supposed to be an exact balance between extremes, and F1 hasn’t found that balance yet.

    5. Half was Alonso. The other half was the fact that the car was better this time around.

    6. Probably another reason to get better tires.

    7. Rather impressive that Raikkonen could drive a damaged car all the way to 2nd place.

    8. Hamilton never gave up after that mistake. Too bad Rosberg’s car decided to break there. Merc’s engineers are going to have to figure that one out.

    9. Vettel’s downfall was a tire gamble that just didn’t work out. Webber’s downfall was simply a run of bad luck. (No, sorry, can’t have conspiracy theories.)

    10. Well, McLaren knew what they were getting when they were hiring Perez. They shouldn’t be mad at anyone but themselves.

    11. Button’s starting to get it back together again, and so is McLaren.

    12. Cutthroat, ain’t it.

    13. At least STR’s starting to show some improvement, but it’s still a long way to sixth place.

    14. Bad luck for Sutil. Could have done some good if not for those incidents.

    15. Hello, Gutierrez? Remember that you have a brain, and you must have it switched on when you’re doing something, especially when you’re racing.

    16. At least Hulk’s trying.

    17. But what about Riccardo?

    18. Nicely done, Bottas. At least you’re not in a crash (unlike your teammate).

    19. I think Marussia lucked out with Bianchi.

    20. Assuming that Caterham is still around.

    21. Pass goes to Massa over Raikkonen, right at the start. Perfect timing , caught him off guard.

    22. Donkey goes to Gutierrez (hey, it was obvious).

    23. Drive is a tie between Alonso and Raikkonen.

    24. Regarding “Housewives”: Not only no, but HELL NO!!!

    25. Alonso to win, Hamilton second, Raikkonen third, First Out will be Van der Garde.

  • Joseph

    Really enjoyed the China race; so much just the finished watching for the 3rd time! If you didn’t have a strong knowledge of Formula 1 history. Anyone new or casual observer would be taken by the chaotic race action; multiple pit stops, numerous passing, different strategies, and the brilliance of Alonso winning drive. For the fans sitting in the Shanghai stands, they had to excited about the race. And would probably return next year,
    I do agree about the qualifying situation; lack of true pace! Over the past 12 years, qualifying has dramatically improved; just remember the watch the clock tick away for the final one lap dash to pole. Or the one lap runs, which was a real yawner. Then the race fuel load qualifying, which saw the cars circulate the circuit until the final run to pole.
    My suggestion would be to have a final shootout; 2 minute qualifying tire. Pirelli would provide the final 5 cars with stickered tires for the final 2 minutes of the session. This tyre would not be part of the race weekend allocation. Possibly having the choice of starting the race on the first or second tyre set.
    In some ways, Formula 1 reminds me of jazz; struggling to be true to its roots – Davis/Monk/Coltane or attracting the masses by going Armstrong/Duke/Kenny G!

  • Clutchless

    Great podcast, thanks for getting it up so quickly.

    As angry as Paul was with the F1 going green initiative while wasting so many tyres on so few laps he can take solace in the fact that 100% of the tyres are recycled.

    • the drivers seat

      But isn’t recycling making teh best of a wastful situation? The creation , shipping , limited use, and disposal of a tyre has to be extremely wasteful, no matter what you turn the trash into

      • MIE

        Unfortunately, the tyres are glued onto the rims, so even if any of the tyres aren’t used on a particular race weekend (like the inters and wets in China), they still need to be destroyed. Pirelli won’t allow anyone to take the old tyres away (as used to happen in the Goodyear monopoly days, as long as you took the lot).

        So at least most of the (slick) tyres will now be used before they are destroyed, rather than shredding brand new tyres. Not much compensation, but regardless of which compounds are taken to the race, the complete allocation will be ‘recycled’ each race.

  • AntioBob

    NC I’m wondering if you and Paul could comment at some point on the observation of Rob Wilson (via Peter Windsor) that Button is not actually all that easy on his tires. That he takes an apex with a longer line with higher min speed (smooth, yes, but…), as such puts more energy into the rubber… he claims that Kimi uses more of a “soft V” and limits the lateral load on tires, which over a lap is easier on the rubber (also possibly faster). Thoughts?

    • Paul would definitely know better than I would being a professional driver but from my perspective, that could be something Rob is seeing but in the end, history shows that Jense is pretty darned good on tires. Is he better than Kimi contextually? Maybe not but he’s been better than most of his peers over the years. To argue he’s not quite as good as Kimi doesn’t necessarily tell me he’s bad on tires so much as it says that Kimi is even better than a guy who is well-known for being good on tires. I also can play his performances back in my head and the resounding quality is resource management. He’s damn good at it.

  • AntioBob

    Thanks for the response… you make a good point that Kimi being (potentially) stronger is not necessarily an indictment of Jenson. Looking forward to the med & hard this weekend!

    • the drivers seat

      Sometimes it’s a matter or many ways to skin a cat, execution is a big part of this as either could work potentially, set up comes into play alot and also footwork, you can rotate a car with release of the brake in the correct way and moment (the V as spoken of) but if not done properly it can abuse the tyre a bit. If you are really progressive with steering input and application of the throttle the smooth long line works also (see Alonso vs Massa).
      So technique is important but execution more so.
      Both Kimi & Jenson do it well

      • I knew you would have a much better answer than me. :)

        • AntioBob

          Thanks, both… I think this area is so interesting. One of those details that’s hidden right before our eyes. Obviously much more hidden to some than others. Me, I’m essentially blind but know I’m about to bump into something.

  • Honda Hero (@Craig_Alderson)

    Firstly, since the Pirelli’s, the rules need to change about racing on the tyre you use in Q3. They should have free choice as the Q1 & 2 runners have. This way we get a Q3 ‘balls out’ tyre that they happen to have to race a few laps with at a point of the race of the teams choosing.

    Secondly, I maybe going against a lot of the views of the net savvy F1 community here but I still maintain the Pirelli tyre concept is still a good one. It’s DRS needs to go away, the teams at least can engineer a car to work with the most crumbly of tyres, teams and drivers have ZERO control of DRS, that is artificial. Teams who’ve excelled in other engineering concepts other than aero are doing well with them right now (ie Lotus & Mercedes with their suspension) and frankly if this concept forces teams to stop engineering a car around putting colossal amounts on downforce by means of high deg tyres, then that is a good thing in my book.

    Thirdly, how is doing the Pirelli control tyre ‘artificial’ like I’m hearing everywhere? Isn’t the concept of enforced pitstops artificially ensuring a mix up of sprint race?! Isn’t that artificial?!We don’t hear any bitching about that do we? If we want to be totally purist racing wise then we’d have no stops and one mega high performance tyre that lasts the race… I suppose I’m fine with that but then we might end up with processional racing again.

    Fourthly, I think it’s as much of skill to work with tyres in a race as it is to go flat 100% of the time. This has often been the case in past eras. The Saturday Q3 is for flat out time.

    rant over…

    • the drivers seat

      I like what you’re saying, I’m ok with the degrading tyre to a degree, I just think they have gone too far. I’d have been more than happy with the medium tyre only, the enforced 2 compound is artificial, but if you have all on the same rubber the pitstops are dependant on setup and strategy, the mediums could go 1 or 2 stops.

      • Honda Hero (@Craig_Alderson)

        I’ll concede that perhaps the softs were a bridge too far in race conditions, but if the Pirelli concept is here to stay then it might make the teams think more about mechanical engineering solutions as opposed to 90% aero